As a lead local flood authority, Essex County Council has a role in overseeing the management of local flood risk, including:
- Groundwater flooding - caused when heavy or prolonged rainfall makes the groundwater table rise above its normal level
- Surface water (rainfall) runoff - flows from, or over, surfaces such as roads, roofs and patios that cannot easily absorb water
- Ordinary watercourses (streams and ditches) - channels which cannot contain large volumes of surface water runoff during or after heavy rain
We also have the powers and duties to:
- commission works to manage flood risk from surface runoff or groundwater
- request information from any person in connection with the authority’s flood and coastal erosion risk management functions
- give consent for any changes to ordinary watercourses
- record, investigate and publish reports on significant floods in the county
- record flood assets and identify those responsible for maintaining them
- designate any features which have a significant impact on flood risk so they cannot be removed or replaced without consent
- work with organisations such as the Environment Agency and water companies to develop a local flood risk management strategy for managing surface runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses throughout Essex
- ensure that developments drain in a manner which does not increase flood risk elsewhere, as well as trying to reduce the risk of flooding wherever possible.
We have no mandate or duty to investigate or seek to provide flood protection measures for residents unless the flooding to a property is deemed to be significant. For more information, see our flood investigation page.